Cases Behind the Doctors Strikes

Nurses Plot A Strike Against Government
Image Credit: The Zimbabwe Daily

The battle between the Zimbabwe Government and medical doctors continue to rage on with Senior Hospital Doctor’s Association (SHDA) making a statement with eight constraints the medical practitioners are facing in delivering their duties.

Medical practitioners are on an industrial action that has stretched to a month demanding better living and working conditions.

Doctors also rejected a 60% rise offer from the Government demanding better wages.

The industrial has gone on despite the government threatening disciplinary action or dismissals to the doctors.

The following are eight constraints medical practitioners claim to be facing in doing their jobs

Eight key constraints the medical practitioners claim to be facing include in equipment with major and essential medical apparatus being either unavailable or broken or obsolete hence requiring urgent replacement.

Doctors also say hospitals with fundamentals for safety, not in place.

One other constraint is in terms of maternity services where there are few theatres in relation to the number of pregnant women. This causes delays in performing caesarean sections timeously to deserving mothers risking delivery of avoidable brain damaged babies, neonatal deaths and endangering lives of mothers.

Intensive care units lack beds due to unavailability of ventilators, monitors, infusion pumps and staffs. Parirenyatwa Hospital which has a bed capacity of 1200 has 3 ICU beds according to senior doctors. “Critically ill emergency patients are kept waiting for unduly long periods in the casualty department and on the wards due to the unavailability of beds,” senior doctors say.

There are persistent shortages of basic oncology drugs for both children and adults in cancer units.

Government sanctioned nurses, radiographers, lab scientists and other support staff to work for 3 days per week because they could no longer afford come to work every day in a process which doctors call Flexi hours. “This has effectively cut the number of workers available to give service at any given time, thereby increasing the workload and compromising on quality,” SHDA argues.

On financial incapacitation, the doctors say the adjusted health-specific allowances announced by the Health Minister were imposed without agreement of the doctors and do not include University of Zimbabwe consultancy. “The adjustments referred to are inadequate and are being eroded on a daily basis by inflation.”

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